I Tried to Pull Off ‘Easy’ Valentine’s Day Nail Art—Here’s What Happened

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I should probably preface this by saying that, while I’m by no means an expert, I’m not exactly a nail art novice. There was a period of time at the beginning of 2015 when I always had some kind of ~*exciting*~ manicure going on, whether that was just an accent nail or some kind of relatively easy design. Since then, my love for nail art has tapered off, mostly because I don’t have a ton of time to sit and give myself an ornate manicure. I’m a very busy and important person, you see. 

(Related: 10 Non-Cheesy Valentine’s Day Clothes and Accessories, Because Festivity Doesn’t Need to Over-the-Top)

That said, Valentine’s Day is coming up, and since there’s nothing I love more than dressing up for a theme or holiday, I thought it was the perfect time to resurrect my nail art skillz. I wracked my brain for the five easiest V-Day-ready nail art designs I could think of (I am several months out-of-practice, after all), grabbed my polish, and got to painting. Or, well, attempting to paint. Really, it was just an hour of cursing and slapping polish on any available surface, but what is art if not an experiment in foul language and color play?

Here’s what I used:

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This is part of SinfulColors‘ Valentine’s Day collection, which I thought would be appropriate for the occasion. In addition to these four shades (the black bottle is a gel tech top coat), I also used a red OPI shade, a striper brush, and a dotting tool. If you don’t have nail art tools on hand, you can always use a toothpick a bobby pin to achieve the same results.

On with the show!

Look #1: A Big Red Heart, Because I’m Not a Creative Human

What’s more festive for Valentine’s Day than a classic red heart? To start off, I used the lightest shade of polish as my based. Then, using the bigger end of my dotting tool, I picked up a bit of red polish and applied to small dots right next to each other:

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After that, I proceeded (well, attempted to proceed) to drag the paint down from the two dots into a sharp point to create the heart shape. After all was said and done, it wasn’t a complete disaster:

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It’s a bit of a wonky heart, but what single 20-something doesn’t have a wonky heart around Valentine’s Day, you know what I mean?

(Related: 12 Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas For The Person You Just Started Dating)

Look #2: One Mini Heart, Because Sometimes I’m Not Creative on a Smaller Scale

So I had to skip a finger because I’m a bad planner, but don’t make a big deal out of it, okay?

My second look was supposed to be even more simple than the first, but slightly more subtle for those of you who don’t want to walk around looking like you’ve just put stickers on your nails. A small, white heart should be easy to pull off, right? (Spoiler alert: wrong.)

My base color for this look was that red shade I mentioned before, and the same technique as with the previous heart applied here as well. This time, though, I used the smaller end of the dotting tool and the lightest shade of polish:

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It was all going well, and then the next thing I knew:

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Okay, so the glare from our overhead lighting actually makes that heart look a lot better than it was IRL, but I’m not going to lie to you: it kind of looked like I just spit white nail polish all over the corner of my nail. Since that wasn’t the look I was going for that day, I wasn’t all too pleased. With a little practice though, anyone can pull these looks off; all it takes is patience and a steady hand. And maybe some nail polish remover nearby, just to be safe.

Click to the next page to see the rest of my Valentine’s Day nail art looks!

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